Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
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I made a decision today: never, ever rely on Wes Craven ever again. Not even if he directed a limited release Meryl Streep vehicle again. Never. I used to be the kind of person who got his thrills from movies like Scream (I said was, stop looking at me like that) and the like. Obviously, I’m not anymore. But I still have my idiot friends (which makes for the 20th time in a row where I mention my idiot friends in a review). I was at the video store the other day with my friend David. He wanted to rent Gone in 60 Seconds for the fourth time because I hadn’t seen it (nor did I want to see it, or sell my soul to Jerry Bruckheimer) and he wanted to ogle Angelina Jolie. Then he wanted to rent ALL the Rocky movies. Finally, to shut him up, I settled on Dracula 2000. Boy howdy, I lived to regret that.
The year is 2000. The setting is London. Abraham van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) is an old man who seems to have nothing to do in life but buy antique weapons. Van Helsing is also a descendant of the man on whom Dracula was based. (He insists that he was only a gentle farmer, but why? The title is Dracula 2000. It’s not going to fool us.) Anyway, he locks up for the day, leaving his assistants (to what? Buying stuff?) outside. One of them, Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) goes home and the other one (Jennifer Esposito) stays outside. Why? Because she’s at the head of a crack team of robbers, that’s why. Her team of robbers get inside the building using all kinds of newfangled doodads that make kids go “cool…” and knocking out guards with glass spheres. (Really, this movie has to be one of the dumbest I’ve seen.) They get down to the basement and uncover a large box, big enough to fit, oh, say, a human being (to which one of the characters proclaims incredulously : it’s a coffin!). Anyway, it’s a coffin and these master scientists figure that the old man must hide all of his loot in it. They try to open it but a bunch of booby traps (you know, pointy stuff) impale two minor characters. Eventually, you know that they’ll take it on their plane. On their plane, the “best” of the criminals (Danny Masterson, That 70’s Show) attempts to open the coffin but of course, he unleashes something dangerous: Dracula (Gerard Butler), who this time instead of being a tall, middle-aged Hungarian guy with short hair is a 20-ish lanky English guy with long hair who could’ve been in The Doors for all I care. Anyway, Dracula of course goes on a rampage in the plane and kills everyone. He then once more kills some more people in his quest to match up with Helsing’s daughter.
I don’t know where to start. This movie is so inept at everything that finding a starting point to make fun of it is an impossible task. The script is an awful mish-mash of bad dialog and attempts at serious imagery. For one, Dracula is compared to Judas a lot in the movie. That’s interesting, you say. Well, it is on paper. In the movie, however, it only becomes a laughable attempt at making this silly mess serious. The dialog is horrible. I’m sure there’s a more subtle way to let know what’s going on than just saying the obvious. (See the “coffin” line above.) There are also some awful one-liners, my favorite being “Never F*CK with an antiques dealer!”
Like all slasher movies, Dracula 2000 suffers from being of an astonishing predictability. What do you think will happen when the busty young woman is standing by the edge of the lake? Wanna venture a guess? I don’t usually do this, but throughout the film I commented on what was going to happen next, and most of the time I was right (within a margin of error that I made up as I went along). The development is so conventional and formulaic that if you turn off the sound, you may just as well be watching Halloween 4 or something to that extent.
The cast is an eclectic bunch of teen idols, TV actors and B-movie kings. I’m not going to say that I was expecting much from this cast, but I was expecting something. The main character is played by Justine Waddell, an actress of stupefying plain talent. She’s not hammy or anything, but she’s not good. She’s blah. Vitamin C (you know, the pop singer? Put a smile on your face, make the world a better place… it’s sad that I know this) plays her friend, which proves that pop singers should not ever attempt to make movies. Unfortunately, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears have upcoming vehicles, and N*Sync too, I think. Christopher Plummer is respectable only because he’s old and he looks embarassed. Omar Epps and Sean Patrick Thomas (Love & Basketball and Save The Last Dance respectively) have small roles and are killed off early. That leaves us with a few pretty women vampires (who do just that) and Butler. There were rumors that Butler was becoming the new Bond. Thankfully, they were false. Butler is bad, bad, bad and hammy to boot.
The direction is by Patrick Lussier, an ex-editor who has worked with Craven before. If this movie is any sign, he should go back to editing. The whole thing reeks of direct-to-video. Unfortunately, some movies go direct to video and are much, much better. Some movies are released on the art-house circuit and are never seen by anyone, and some movies are released to 20,000 screens, even with their rampant mediocrity.
Dracula 2000 is a bad movie. A boil on the butt of moviedom. I never want to see this movie again. Never. Not even if you edit it so that all the women are naked. (Well, unless you edit it so that’s all that’s left is naked women… even then, Lussier would screw it up.) If someone tells you they liked it, slap them. Tell them it’s from me. That’s how much I hated this movie.
(Note: the title is taken from a song the by The Kinks called Hollywood Boulevard, if anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about.)
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Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older